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tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  September 7, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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>> rose: welcome to the broadcast, we continue our vacation schedule by looking at some of the people who came to this table in 2009 to talk about their work and their passion and their life. our guest tonight had no particular connection except they're interesting people. they are the author and filmmaker worner herzog. >> i'm not the kind of cinema verite who post late you should be unobtrusive and like a fly on the wall and not present. no, i say no, i will be present. i want to stylize. i want to be the hornet that goes in and stings and of
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course i articulate but what is common to, by the way, to the writing and to the feature films and to the documentarys is a quest for something which is behind the surface, a deeper form of truth that we normally do not ask when we go to the theatre. >> rose: the founder the wick pedestriania, jimmy wales. >> i spent a lot of time traveling to places where they have smaller languages, smaller wickepidai i was china, going to india, really trying to make sure, do everything that i can to encourage of growth of wikepida. because to me i see it as a positive force for social change. a positive force for a more thoughtful dialogue around politics and religion and all kinds of things. >> rose: the neuroan at mist and person who experienced a
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life transforming event, joe bolte taylor. >> it wasn't until i got out of the shower and my right arm goes totally paralyzed then i realize parnohadiningrat all sis, oh pie gosh i'm having a stroke. >> rose: what did you do then. >> the next thing my brain said wall wow, this is so cool. >> rose: herzog, wales, taylor next. >> funding for charlie rose has been provided by the following:
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>> from our studios @in new york city this is charlie rose. >> rose: werner herzog is here. he has in his career directed more than 50 movies including documentaries and features. his career began in germany in the early 190s. since then his work has taken him so-to-some of the most extreme locations on earth. he is believed to be the first filmmaker to shoot on all 7 continents. here is a look at some of his work .
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>> let me do it, it's the oldest remedy in the world. >> oh, forget it. it's hardly worth mentioning .
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>> he became increasingly par road about his enemy, the poacher. >> and it had gotten to be september, near october and it's the time of year where poachers come around it is time for me to go in my guerrilla style camouflage outfit. he recognizes me about talking to her, the skinny crazy guy. >> don't ever, ever do that again. don't you ever do that again .
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>> part of what we want to do here is the educational opportunity to see if they realize what they've done. come back to a hut. come up with a new game plan or if they just keep going down that cascading air phenomenon where one mistake leads into another mistake which leads into third and it just gets really bad. >> number one, don't pull on that, that is the ian goes back to the hut. >> one of herzog's most ambitious projects was released in 1982. it tells the story of a would-be robber ban are barron who toes a steamship, filmed in the amazon, the film took five years to complete. now herzog has published his journals recounting the entire arduous experience. the book is called conquest of the useless, reflection from the making of -- i'm pleased to have him at this table. welcome. >> thank you.
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>> rose: nice to have you here. why did it take so you long to do this? why did you do it in the first place, decide that you wanted to tell us something about the making of this movie as expressed in your journal. >> well, it's not so much a book on the making of the film. it is only a side event. it's more proceeds, it's more like a young jungle fever dream. and it's my sort of poetry about this whole thing. why did it take so long? because i had to produce it myself, 20th century fox wanted to do it but they were out for what we call the plastic solution, a small plastic miniature boat over a studio hill. they said we could even go to the botanic garden in san diego because that would be good jungle. and i asked what is bad jungle then. so it became -- it was clear i had to do it myself. what took long was preproduction because i had to build the ships --
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actually there is one ship that i drag over a mountain, 360 tons heavy but we had to build two identical twins because one of the ships was going through rapids and we were afraid we might lose it because it crashed into the rocks with great violence. it's the most violent rapids in all of south america. so we had to have two identical ships. and in this area in peru there was no ship wharf. so we had to build the infra struck tur first which mean wes had to build a ship wharf. and then build two identical ships. and then i built jungle camp for about 1,100 people because we would have about a thousand native indian extras. and all sorts of things happened. it's now we ran into a bar between peru and eck ca --
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ecuador and pie camp was attacked and burned to the ground. so until i had found a new location and started to build another camp, it took four, five, six months. and then i shot half the movie with jason robards as the lead character and mick jagger as his side kick, the second big round. and jason robards fell ill, had to be flown out to the united states and his doctors wouldn't allow him to return. and mick jagger had to join the rolling stones for a world tour. so that was over after half the film was done. so i had to start all over again. and it was -- it was done then with clause kinski. shooting itself wasn't that long t was something like two months, two and a half months. and a little bit, and added piece to it because the ship that wasn't through the rapids crashed so hard that
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it ran on to a bank and was stuck there for more than half a year because of water level sank. and the other ship was stuck on the top of the pound taken for half a year. so that's why i took long. >> rose: tell me about the movie. who inspired it? >> there was a historical figure, a roner -- robber barron but he never aspired to build an operahouse. it's all my invention. and he actually moved a ship from one river system into another by disassembling it into hundreds and hundreds of pieces across an is -- isthmus but hi the feeling i should do something about a ship over a mountain that would be a great metaphor for what i don't know until today. it's very odd but i think there's --. >> rose: you now know what it means. >> no, i do not. and i think nobody can really have an answer. but there is something
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inside of us, some images dorm ent inside of us that i can articulate. now today the ship over a mountain is a totally accepted image that is -- has been like a known brother or sister inside of us. and i could articulate it. >> rose: we're going to take a look at the climactic scene in the movie. here it is. >> amigos. >> . (speaking german) .
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>> rose: the norker said about you people, perhaps
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unfairly, he is less renowned for his oddly brilliant movies than for the arduous and sometimes savage circumstances under which they were made. >> well, it's a coincidence when are you doing a film like that, you have to go to the jungle. you know it's going to present a lot of difficulties and obstacles. it's obvious when you have to do something like this. but i'm not afraid of it. i'm not shying away from it. and there was a great vision in me. and i saw something so clearly that i had to do it. and all these things like the difficulties, they disappear within a certain amount of time. nobody cares about how difficult, for example, it was to work with a young marlon brando. >> rose: right. >> on the set of on the waterfront. nobody cares about it any more. so this disappears in thin air and what we remains is
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the film. and there's an idea there. and there's a beautiful story. and now we have a book which is completely separate and has its independent own life. i have a suspicion as well that this book is probably going to have a longer life than the fill testimony self. >> rose: why do you say that? >> because it has more substance. the substance is so much more palpablely there. when you make a fill tlm are all these technical things in between. technical apparatus -- camera, sound, editing, finances, psychology of actors. rainfalls, a river that doesn't rise in time when you need to have high water. and so writing is absolutely direct and straightforward. nothing in between. >> rose: take a look at this. this is you talking about the movie from the
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documentary burden of dreams in 1982. here it is. >> when this movie is all over what are you going to be doing? >> i shouldn't make movies any more. i should go to a lunatic asylum right away. but i don't know. it's very much too crazy and too -- just not what a man should do in his life all the time. i feel, even if i get that boat over the mountain and somehow i finish that film, any one can congratulate me and talk me into finding it marvelous. nobody on this earth will convince me to be happy about all that. not until the end of my days. >> yeah, well --. >> rose: well, explain yourself, 1982. >> it doesn't matter whether
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it was 1982 or two weeks ago. no, actually, there was a heavy burden on me five years of toil and disasters. and i mean real disasters. we had two plane crashes. it normally doesn't happen during a film production. where a few days before i said that on camera, a young native man who was something like 18 years old had drowned in a boat accident. they actually had stolen some of my canoes, the dug out canoes which i had categorically forbidden and i even chained them together high on land. they stole a canoe, two young men stole a canoe, they capsized. they couldn't swim, one made it to the shore. and the second drown and we never found his body. and this was only a day after all this happened. so there is an enormous weight, an enormous burden on me. but at the same time, even burden of dreams, the film
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that was done by les blank has great exhilarating moments and moments of relief. and when you see a ship going over the pound taken and of course it is a conquest of the useless in a way. but it has something exhilarating, something that lifts a lot of weight off your shoulders. and when you leave the film, when you go to the theatre and you leave the theatre, you feel much lighter. it's as if we were 30 kilos lighter. >> rose: you consider this one of your great east chievements, this film? >> yes, it is. i have no doubt, although there are some smaller films that are equally big achievements, i have to say it in quotes. we should be careful. but yes, it is an achievement. >> rose: why do you like documentaries?
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>> well, documentaries i have done always in between somehow. but i do not make so much a distinction between documentaries and feature film. >> rose: because -- >> i stage them. >> rose: you have extraordinary licence in documentaries. >> i do, yes. and i'm not the kind of cinema verite who post late you should be unobtuseive and like a fly on the wall and not present. no, i say no, i will be present. i want to stylize. i want to be the hornet that goes in and stings and of course i articulate but what is common to, by the way, to the writing and to the feature films and to the documentaries is the quest for something which is behind the surface, a deeper form of truth that we normally do not ask when we go to the theatre, when we go to the movies. but sometimes it occurs. and there are some moments where you walk away and you
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have the feeling in this poem it has touched me very deeply. and although i do not have to analyze it, i know that a deeper ecstasy of truth has occurred to me. it's like a moment of illumination. and when you look at fitscardldo, in a way it came from a strange illumination, it's all i have to say. >> i love to work with actors. and i have always somehow made the best out of them. when you look at kinski, he has done 215 films. in the five films that we did together, he's at his best. >> rose: why do you think that was? >> because i, i have it in me and that's my profession. it's a prerequisite of my profession to really direct actors well. and that's what i have learned as a self-taught man. and when you look at the
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newest film i made, one of the newest, it's not published yet, with nicolas cage, i firmly believe that nicolas cage has never been as good as in this film. >> but do you know why? >> i challenge him and i take them where they have never been before. >> all right, watch this clip this is christian bale talking about you on this program. >> he is somebody who thrives on confusion as well, you know. i enjoyed that very much. it wouldn't be for everybody. but it, to me, it seemed to be an attempt to keep away from the conventional, not to get stuck in a rut of conventional filmmaking. he would purposefully confuse issues on the set. keep people guessing, keep them on their toes so that nobody became complacent in any way. and he is somebody that, i like him very much essentially because i see him as a dreamer. he has great ideals.
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he is not always the most reasonable man that you would come across. but i feel like i liked following him into his endeavors because he has these dreams. and he would have me at times in the morning, i wanted to strangle him and then come the afternoon i wanted to hug him. he gets you so emotional. but -- >> what would he do to make you want to strangle him. >> he just sometimes, you know, he's -- he can be, you know, obtuse. >> rose: demanding. >> yes, yeah. and then bang, the gentleest soul you've ever come across afterwards. but fascinating. he should have a movie made about him. >> rose: really? >> yeah. >> rose: who would play him? >> probably him. >> rose: should there be a movie paid about you. >> no, there should not. >> rose: why not? >> there are better things to do. save your celluloid for
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something else. >> rose: i want to show mick jagger in the film. here it is. >> we want the operating -- >> we need opera here. >> we need your -- music in your soul. >> come and join us. >> -- to entertain this fair well-spoken days. i'm determined to prove a ville anne and hate -- pleasures of the --
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>> wilbur, you are definitely my man (laughter) >> rose: you're laughing. >> yes, it was very pleasant to work with him. >> rose: do you look at that and think about what might have been? >> no. it's not relevant any more. that was an attempt to do the film as it hadn't materialized that way. i do not look like. and this is the reason why i threw all the outtakes away including mick jagger and only by coincidence in the documentary by les plank some of the footage survived. and mick jagger is a retarded english acker somewhere out in the jungle was so good that i wrote his entire part out of the film. >> rose: wow. >> i did not want to replace him. >> rose: no one else could do it. >> no, when you look at him doing richard iii. >> rose: suggesting that he could have been a great actor if he focused on acting rather than music. >> no, he's at his right
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place. >> rose: but if -- >> no, he's a quintessential rocker. >> rose: but could he have been a good actor. >> a great actor, not a good actor, a great actor, yes. nd and you can tell there material out there where you see this man has something in him that you do not see quite often on a screen. >> rose: the preface to this book for reasons that escape me, i simply could not make myself go back and read the journals i kept during the filming of -- then 24 years later my resistence suddenly crumbled. though i had trouble deciphering my own handwriting which i had miniaturized at the time to microscopic size. these fixs are not reportedly from the actual filming of which little is said nor are they journals except in the general sense, they may be described instead of inner landscapes born of the delirium of the jungle but even that may not be entirely accurate this is just like you. i am not sure. >> well, i'm not so sure about the text. but i have this -- these
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diaries, it was not just one, quite a couple of little booklets which i normally kept in my pocket. and i wrote whenever i had a moment, i would write, write, write. my last, somehow my last refuge in all the turmoil and all these triblations was language. strangely enough it was language. and i really couldn't read it. it was so frightening. and then my wife lena a couple of years ago encouraged me just why don't you go into it. and read it it and all of a sudden it fell in place easily and i thought yes, i should do something with it. it was more than just private sort of things that i had seen and that i had encountered. and more than just private fever dreams. but now it is she who cannot read it. she read until page 6 0 or 70 and cannot continue because it's so -- it's so
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hard to read all these catastrophes. >> rose: conquest of the useless, reflections from the making of -- i thank you, great to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> rose: you have three new movies had in coming out in the next year or two. >> well, this year, yes, three new films, within the next few weeks or so. >> rose: three in the next few weeks. >> yes. >> rose: why are you doing that? don't they compete with each other. >> no, it just happened that i did them so fast. >> rose: jimmy wales is here, the founder of wikapedia, the on-line user generated encyclopedia now includes 13 million articles in more than 70 languages. also leads wikia incorporated a company based on some of the same technology as wikapedia, i'm pleased to have jimmy wales
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back at this table. welcome. how much bet ver you gotten in maintaining the accuracy of what goes in? >> i think we've gotten a lot better in the last couple of years. but i think we're really about to have a major step forward so one of the new things that's happening is at the -- neck month or the month after depending on the program, you know how that can be sometimes. where we're implementing a new feature that allows the community for certain articles that they feel are at risk, they can make sure that any changes that are made to the articles aren't shown to the general public until somebody who is trusted in the community has looked at it. >> rose: community means in this case? >> so for me the community is our really active group of users. so a lot of times the word "community" really get as becaused a lot on-line. people use it just to mean the general public. when i say "community" i'm talking about the really core group of users. they know each other. they are making the policies for the site, really discussing if in great detail everything. and they are monitoring things that come in from people we don't know. saying is this good s this
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not good. and that community is very passionate about quality. and they're very, you know, heart broken every time there is a news story about there was some error in wikapedia, they just hate it. so they have been asking for more tools. how do we, what are the tools that we can have that balance both the good that comes because it turns out almost everybody who contributes to wikapedia, even if they are anonymous, most of those changes are perfectly good. so we don't want to shut off the possibility for people to contribute. at the same time that community is saying hey, we need better tools to be able to monitor and so, well, that's kind of where we are. >> rose: why do they do it? why do people take the time to correct an entry that they see or add to an entry in wikapedia. >> i think there are a few reasons. i think for some people, they just have a very passionate interest in a certain topic. and so they just really enjoy interacting about that topic. so just this past weekend i met a very prominent wikapedia volunteer who hi never met before. she is a biologist and she writes about gastropods,
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snails. and this is her professional interest. and she loves snails and she loves all the information about snails. and she works very hard with a whole group of people who assist her. she is, you know, a ph.d biologist. and she has spent a lot of effort making sure that all the snail articles are good and she was sort of detailing for the group that we were talking to all the work that she is going to do next. for her it is a real love of very spe for other people, they just like interacting with other smart people and they don't really care necessarily what the exact subject matter is. they just like learning new things and interacting. >> rose: why has it taken so you long to come to this sort of new software to do that? >> there is a lot of social questions about it, like is it going to kill participation. is it going to, how does it change the character of the site. so and also there is a lot of user interface problems like how do you do the user interface so that things get checked in a timely fashion and so forth. but we've been testing the feature now in the german wikapedia for quite some time. and it has been a huge success there. the reason we started with
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the germans, it's kind of a swrok but it's kind of true, they are very uptight about quality in germany it a really good thing so that community is very passionate about this kind of quality feature. so they were really clamouring for it early. also it is a smaller project. so the, you know, worries about issues about scaling, is it fast enough, were easier to handle there. now we are ready to try it in english wikapedia and i think it is going to be easier to see how it helps out. >> rose: what apped -- happened to wikapedia search. >> wikia search. we were building a search engine. i say what happened to it was aig which has nothing to do with it, of course. but the -- this economy has been brutal for people who are in the business as we are wikia advertising supportive web sites. it was rough. it looked kind of scary. all of a sudden the dotcom industry have been through a
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really severe crash once before. so we took a hard look at all of our business. we said we're just building this. it's just getting started. it doesn't have enough traffic to support itself. we can't continue to make this kind of speculative investment in this environment. we need to conserve our capital for the rest of the business which is doing very well. so that wikia we are now doing about 600 million page entries a month. we had our first profitable month in june which i'm pleased about. we should be at a billion page views in a few more months. so that part is doing very well. you know, anybody can come and start a wiki on any topic. we've pleased about that. there was no way. >> rose: what does it offer that wikapedia doesn't offer? >> well, so the basic idea at wikia is we are building the rest of the library so it is all kinds of different web sites. mostly it is super, superin-depth stuff so whereas in wikapedia if you go and look up world war craft video game there are several entry, at the wow
6:32 am that community generated over 70,000 entrys about this one video game which if you know anything about t they call it world of car crack because the players are so into it and so forth. so that is one example. other things, we have political sites. one of the sites i'm really pleased about is we have one called sf homeless wiki so it is about the community of homelessness activists in california working together to coordinate all the services for homeless people. it's not an encyclopedia, it is something else it a resource. a help site for that community to work together. so it's the rest of the library. anything people might want to build. >> there an ongoing discussion on this program and everywhere else about content and free content. chris anderson has a free book called free and newspapers are in despair over what to do. how do you come down on this question of content being free? >> i, you know, i think some things should be free. but i'm not convinced that everything is going to be free. i don't think that actually makes a whole lot of sense.
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>> and thing tas that are now free may no longer be free? >> i think going back in that direction, i think is not very likely for many things. we might think of some specific examples. but in general, we have seen this overall trend towards free content towards advertising supportive versus subscription models. and that trend i don't see that reversing. not in any major ways. you might find some specific examples. but you know, i think i'm very much like a lot of other people. i'm really concerned about journalism. i am concerned about az we see. >> how about the newspapers. >> about survival of newspapers. because as we see these structural changes happening, and we see that there a real demand by the public for good solid journalistic reporting, but it's become hard to figure out the business model to sustain it. and i'm not a pessimist, i'm an optimist. i think we will figure it out. but it is a little interesting when we see an
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institution like "the new york times" basically on its knees. you have to worry. and wonder, you know, where are we going to find a model. >> and can they change it once the genie is out of the bottle, ie you offered a lot of the stuff freed. >> here is what markal gladwell wrote, he said there plenty of other information out there that has chose tone run in the opposite direction from free. the times gives away content on its web site but "the wall street journal" has found that more than a million subscribers are quite happen to pay for the privilege of reading on-line. broadcast television, the original practitioner of free ie advertised supported is struggling but premium cable with its stiff monthly charge force specialty content is doling just fine. apple may soon make more money selling iphone downloads, ideas than it does from the iphone itself. so the company could one day give away the iphone to boost downloads. it could give away the downloads to boost iphone sales or it could continue to do what it does now, and
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charge for both. who knows, the only iron law here is the one to obvious to write a book about which is that the digital age has so transformed the ways in which things are made and sold that there were no iron laws. >> sort of right. >> he is sort of right. it is actually interesting because i think i would make the same point but in a slightly different way. i would say one of the things people love to talk about how the digital age has transformed everything and throw everything out the window. but in a deeper level there is some things that just never change. those things are if you want to make money, you have to provide a service that people like. you have to charge a fair price for it. customer service counts. all those clackic old-fashioned values really count for something. and a lot of the talk about free and sort of the radical new age forgets that, you know what, it is really about providing people with something they enjoy, something they want to do. >> and we know that you
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offered free people more likely to go there then somewhere where they have to pay, for the most part. >> for the most part. >> for the most part. >> but you have to therefore show there is value added to paying something. >> that's right, yeah. you have to make sure that the customers are getting something out of it that they find worthwhile. for me, i don't know what the future will hold exactly. but for me i have an amazon kindl and i'm finding for the first time in forever, i subscribe and i pay for "the new york times". and the reason i do so is that it's so convenient, the form factor, the reading of it is so much more pleasant that i travel a lot. so i don't, i can't get a physical newspaper delivered anywhere. it's just going to stack up and i don't want a big pile of paper. i can read a lot of the same content on the web for free but it's not as pleasant of an experience. so there is a found a way to give me a value add that is causing me to want to pay for "the new york times" for the first time in years. i think that may be a way forward. although, time will tell. i don't know how well the
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kindl will do and what alternatives will pop up. >> rose: well, there will be clearly alternatives, people trying to develop other hardware mechanisms to do the same thing. >> yeah. >> rose: but kindl is first and often the person who gets there first with the right technology continues to keep their lead and therefore they win the game in the end or they win the largest market share, whether it is google or kindl or for what it might be. do you buy books any more. >> i do buy books. >> rose: when do you read them. you don't take them with you when you travel. >> well, no, and i actually am starting to read more books on the kindl because i can take it with me when i travel. it's a lot lighter. >> rose: and you take multiple books too. >> and despite being some kind of famous radical in the digital age, i love paper books. and that technology is really almost perfect for the bathtub, for the beach, for, you know, it's cheap. if you lose it on the subway you just about buy another one. so i don't think the paper book is going away. but, times change. it's hard to say. >> rose: where would you
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like wikapedia to be in five years. >> for me i think the thing that is really near and dear to my heart is our global mission. so this idea of a free encyclopedia for every single person on the planet is really crucial for me. so i spend a lot of time traveling to places where they have smaller languages, smaller wikapedias. i was just in bulgaria, i'm going it to china soon. going to india. really trying to make sure, do everything that i can to encourage the growth of wikapedia all around the world. because i think it, for me, i see it as potentially a positive force for social change. a positive force for a more thoughtful dialogue. around politics and religion and all kinds of things. >> rose: how is that true? >> well, you know, it's -- people who are using wikapedia, especially young people will report they end up spending hours and hours and hours just reading and learning and reading and learning. and a lot of times, i mean one of the problems for me,
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one of the problems we have with democracy in this country, and this replicated many places around the world, voters are expected to vote based on emotions and sound bites. and it's really problematic. and if i want to know do i support the new farm bill, right, do i really want to make that decision based on competing sound bites from lobbyists or do i actually want to go and read four or five para graphs that just tell me what it is about. what does this new sound bit, can i have a neutral presentation of that? if we can create that then i think it helps everybody to become a more thoughtful citizen. and that's just politicsment we can also think about things like scientific research. but i think most of us, what you say is wow, i just heard something on the news about armenia. i don't have to confess, i don't really know much about armenia, i just want to check. i don't need to be an expert but i just kind of where is it, who are the people there. what are they fight being. >> rose: the interest of this were so great including
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wikapedia, i said to my colleague, the internet is just too wonderful to we hold. too wonderful to behold. last thing, david rogue, "new york times" correspondent was captured. you in coordination with the "new york times" withheld information. how did that come about? >> well, what happened was the -- he had been kidnapped by, you know, in afghanistan. and they had advice from whoever that his safety would be more in endangered the bigger the news story was. they were really concerned about danny pearl kind of incident. and so they said it with be bet ferr this were just sort of not noticed. and so "the new york times", i mean in what you would think, if you asked me two years ago would this be possible. i would have said they will never manage to pull it off. but they did. so they got --. >> rose: how did they pull it off. >> they talked to all the major news outlets. and it is actually very interesting. because with the traditional newspaper, you make one phone call, you talk to the owner, you talk to the editor in chief and you say
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could you, you know, here's the situation and we would appreciate it if you would. and you get agreement from that one person. with wikapedia, of course, it's not that easy because it's written by everybody. it's open to everybody. so what we were able to do, the -- because "the new york times" was so successful elsewhere, there were no reliable sources for this piece of information. it had been reported a couple of obscure places. but because it was reported somewhere on cure but then never followed up on it would give people good reason to doubt that it's good enough. now i knew, of course, but it's not my obligation to report everything i know. so i had a really great administrator who is not controversy and i knew wouldn't be, sort of, wouldn't cause a stir to go in and take a look at it. and what he decided to do was to revert the entry to the previous version and to protect it from further editing. and he was very smart about how de it. he didn't out of the blue protect it for a year which people would have said where are you doing that, that is excessive. instead he said i don't know there something do something
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weird, after three had days the same one day, it was pretty much one guy who kept trying to stick it in, it is kind of a bit amuse teg end. he protected again, wait aid month it was sort of a cat and mouse game. at the end, when "the new york times" called me and said he's escaped and we are going to be announcing later this afternoon and we want to let you know he's safe and thank you so much for your help. then when they made the announcement. >> rose: is that the editor. >> it was somebody from the business side. >> rose: right. >> chairman's office. they -- so i unprotected the article and then the same guy came in and said i told you i was right all along, you idiots, you know, and cursed at us. and i said all right, you know. so it goes. >> rose: thank you for coming, great to see you as always. >> good to see you, as always. >> rose: jimmy wales, wikapedia. >> joe bolte taylor, sr.
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here, a neuroscientist at the university of indiana. on the morning of december 10th, 1996 she suffered a stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. she has since made a full recovery but her life has been changed forever. her account of the experience became a "new york times" best-seller. now in paperback it's called my stroke of insight, a brain scientist's personal journey. in 2008, "time" magazine named taylor one of the world's 100 most influential people. i am pleased to have her here for the first time. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: what insight did you gain from this before we talk about the experience. >> for me as a brain scientist who had the experience of having a hemorrhage in the left half of my brain to lose the capacity of language and the ability to think with lynn areaity, in the absence of that, to have the experience of shifting into the experience of the present moment and the richness and the peacefulness that exists right there in my brain. so i would say the most
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important insight is the differences between what is going on in our left brain, in our right brain, and the benefits of both so for me it's really about balance now. how do we create balance with these two magnificent different machines inside of our head and how do we capitalize on the ills of each. >> rose: what is a stroke. >> they are different types of stroke. but stroke is generally when something happens and there is a trauma to the cells in the brain. and there are two primary types of stroke. the ischemic stroke is when you throw a blood clot somewhere in your body, it goes into the brain. it passes into an artery and that artery tapers to small of a diameter and the clot will then block that artery. so that the cells beyond become deprived of oxygen and they become traumatized or they die. that's ischemic and that is the most common. the other type is the hemorrhagic stroke and that is when a blood vessel bursts and the blood goes out into the cell tissue where it does not belong. >> rose: and does what, what does the cell tissue. >> it traumatizes it.
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blood actually acts as a poison to neurons, so they don't like it so they either die or they become totally withdrawn. and they can no longer communicate then. >> rose: and what do you feel when you are having a stroke. >> well, i think depends on where that stroke is going to be happening inside of your body. you might feel, you might have a problem with language. you can't speak. >> rose: all of a sudden you can't speak. >> or you are -- or i am speaking and what you are hearing is --. >> rose: just talk a bit about the difference hemispheres of the brain so we understand what happened. >> well, the left hemisphere is where our language centers are. so with language comes my ability to speak. and to understand you when you speak. but part of language and my ability to speak is my ability to say i, i am an individual. so i and all the data of my life, this is my name, this is the file of all that is jill bolte taylor is located there. as a result, it associates
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with the information that we've had in the past. it thinks linearly and sequentially and so there a method of the organization and the information procession. the right hemisphere is all about the present moment. so all of the information is coming in through my sensory systems. it is exploding into an enormous coleage of this present moment experience. it's rich, it's kin esthetic, it's connected to images and pictures. so when you have a memory of those moments in time when 9/11 happened, we all know exactly where we are. we remember that because our right hemisphere is bringing in all that information of the present moment experience as a moment, as a package. so you have these two information processing machines that do it separately and differently. >> for the lack of a better year it series the pem ree more than normal circumstances. >> absolutely. because it is all the l, mbic system which is emotion. and whenever you have an experience that attaches into emotion, then you have this powerful memory. >> rose: and so describe the morning in which you had the stroke.
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>> the the morning that i had my stroke, i woke up first thing in the morning. and i didn't know that that is a great time for people to have strokes because generally you are horizontal, sleeping, your blood pressure is low, you sit up, all of a sudden your blood pressure raises, your mind starts thinking this my to-do list. you become a little stressed. it is a great time to have a problem happen. i didn't know that. so on the morning of my stroke i woke up and i immediately had this pulse stating pounding pain behind my left eye. and it was that caustic pain like when you bite into ice cream pain but it would grab me. and then it would release me. and so i got up and i thought okay, exercise was my normal routine. i thought exercise would be a good idea. >> rose: did you know what was happening. >> no, all i had was a had a bad headache. so i don't have relationships with real people who have real problems. i was a postmortem person. so i had no idea. i just thought i was having a headache. so i got up and i had hypersensitiveity to light. jumped on to my cardioglider
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and i had this strange shift in my perception from being in my normal reality to something esoteric space observing myself. and you have to remember i'm a brain scientist so i'm fascinating. i'm thinking this is interesting, what's going on. what is wrong with my brain. have i ever felt anything like this before. i get off the machine. i'm walking across the room. every move suspect very slowed and very deliberate and there is a constriction in my area of perception. and i am fascinated, analyzing, am i having a migraine, have i ever had this before. what is going on. i'm stepping into my shower area, eventually i'm leaning up against my shower wall and i realize i cannot define the boundaries of my body. where i begin and where i end. and it wasn't until i get out of the shower and my right arm goes totally paralyzed, that i realize paralysis, warning sign of stroke. meyer, oh my gosh i'm having a stroke. >> rose: you did what then. >> my brain said wow this is so cool. well, you know t a brain
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scientist having this bizarre experience of her brain. i grew up to study the brain because i have a brother diagnosed with schizophrenia, so my whole area of interest is how does our brain create our perception of reality. and how is this that two people who are biologically genetically as close as me and my brother, how can we witness the same experience but have different perceptions of what happened. so to me this is a fascinating observation. so but then it was like well, i got to get help. i was wafting between the consciousness of my left brain which was attached to normal reality being able to set a plan, think lineary to act that out and my right hemisphere when i would drift into the present moment experience, i experienced this peace of lack of urgency and peacefulness. and a euphoria. it was a blissful state of wonder. so i was in no hurry when i was over there come back into oh my gosh i got to get help, i got to get help.
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>> rose: and what were the moment of clarity. >> i think that the moments of clarity were -- came at the end of this four-hour process on the morning of the stroke, of wafting in and out of that left hemisphere yes, i can attend to the details. i can function. i can orchestrate my rescue. and then this experience of blissful euphoria, is that there is two very distinctive parts of me that are very different from one another. and i was losing this one, the left brain that was attaching me to my normal reality. and the value of my life in the external world. but in the absence of that, i shifted into this space of being that was peaceful. and the motivation then for me to actually go through that process of recovery which took eight years was that i am wired for peace. i am wired for the ability to experience being at one with all that is, to be as enormous as the universal
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because the cells in my left hemisphere were gone. and i could no longer define the boundaries of where i began and where i ended. and there was this blissfulness. and to me it was like boy, what a different world we could live in if we knew that we could tap into that part of ourselves any time we wanted. >> is there a way to do that. >> oh, i think lots of people do it often. many people use different tools like prayer. prayer will -- will perhaps recite a prayer or work with beads and hook the system into a mantra that allows the brain chatter in the left brain to quiet. so that you can shift into this experience of being a part of devineness, if you will. or people's meditate in order to get this space. some people take a walk in nature. some people just go to the beach. >> rose: but it is the blissfulness. >> it is, it is a beautiful peaceful way of being. >> rose: have you fully recovered. >> yes, took eight years, it has been 13 years. >> rose: why did it take eight years. >> well, i decided --.
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>> rose: and how do you measure. >> right, exactly. one of the first things i lost was that definition of boundary. when i lost the definition that this was where i began and where i ended, i no longer saw myself as a solid, separate from you. no longer separate from the a tomorrows and moll -- molecules in the water. everything bleneding to. so for eight years i experienced myself as a fluid, in a fluid environment. and realistically that is what we are. it sounds very peculiar but it's what we are. and after eight years, i recognized that i had the experience that i was a solid again. and so that is when i decided that was when i was a solid again. >> rose: it was the metric for you to measure or determine that you were there. >> yeah, right. >> rose: and the most important thing you learned in this experience is. >> i think the most important is that we're wired to have a peaceful, blissful experience. and that we have --. >> rose: so within us is the capacity. >> within us is the capacity. and we can learn to recognize when we where in the left hemisphere, when we
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are in the right hemisphere. and how to create the balance between the two so that we can actually manifest. >> rose: is that what has made this book so applauded and so popular. >> to some people. the interesting thing --. >> rose: to a class of people who somehow covet that notion. >> exactly. >> rose: of bliss. >> exactly. >> rose: and they look, here is someone who understands where i want to be. >> exactly. that's one population. >> rose: and the other population is people who suffered strokes and therefore -- want to believe that there is -- >> there is hope. they will capable of recovery there is no plasticity of brain. they are kanl of rekoferment and the third group are the caregivers because now they have a manual there is a list of 40 recommendations for recovery about how to help this person you love set themselves up so heal the cells. because ultimately if you have healthy cells, they will perform their function. if there is not a function going on it is because of the cells. >> rose: and how different a person are you today? >> i'm a very different
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person than i used to. >> rose: how so. >> i'm motivated differently. before i was climbing the har slard ladder. i was doing everything i needed to do to promote my ca roar in the world. and since this has happened to me, i'm much more aware that i have limited amount of time here in this form to be able to influence the world. and i am much more concerned about how do i help humanity become more humane and more peaceful. and i think that with this message and this understanding, that we are wired for peace and we all have that cass pate -- capacity if we are willing to go there and spend the time that we can. >> rose: what kind of people will help us find that? i mean who are the class of people that will be is the stimulus to find it. >> i think anybody. i think you. i think you. if you live your life more peacefully then you will project more peace into your world. and will you attract more peacefulness. i think it's true for all of
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us. so i think is all of us. >> rose: so all of us who seek and find will therefore teach. >> well, i think we will practice and by being, by modelling we will practice it and that will be --. >> rose: and there will be a learning. >> that's right. and if are you calm and are you collected and are you organized and are you peaceful and i come into your presence and i am a little stressed and i'm running more on my left brain, just being in your presence helps me shift my energy to a different way of being. >> rose: i think that's right. and you see those people. >> all the tim. >> rose: my stroke of insight, a brain scientist's personal journey, abc news said transform difficult. her experience will shatter your own perception of the world. and i'm sure there's more. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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